By David Oliver
Although this episode was mostly filler, it concluded with a devastating turn that points to grave danger for our favorite freaks. Read on if you dare:
We pick up with Jimmy visiting Bette and Dot, wanting to bring them back to the freak show. Bette is resistant because she loves Dandy and believes he’s a real hero, but she sides with her sister when Dot finds out Dandy read her diary. Dandy insists “love trumps everything,” but the twins and Jimmy head out.
Jimmy covers “Come As You Are” by Nirvana (and not badly, I must say – though it’s unclear if that’s actually Evan Peters). I’ve enjoyed the musical numbers this season. They’re a little campy, but it fits with this season’s tone.
He’s angry at Elsa for lying about the twins, but Dot lies for her (more on this later). We later see Jimmy laying in bed with Maggie, confused about the twins’ ordeal. Maggie wants them to just leave the freak show and calls him out, saying he’ll never actually leave. Jimmy then ends up drinking with Dell…
Dell starts out the episode looking for Andy at the bar (to no avail, obviously), and when the bartender tells him to “never fall in love with a hustler,” he attacks him, and Stanley sees. He blackmails Dell into killing a freak to send to the museum.
Dell tries to kill Eve, but she kicks him out of her trailer. “Who’s the strongman now?” she asks. Damn right, girl. Ethel wants to kill Dell for what he did, and warns Jimmy against the dangers of the world. “All goodness guarantees you is an early grave.” Jimmy insists he wants to talk to Dell.
The two go out drinking, and Dell lies to Jimmy about Eve. The two enjoy a heart-to-heart, with Jimmy reminiscing about freak shows past. Jimmy opens up about his lobster claws. “You got nothing to be ashamed of,” Dell tells Jimmy, and that he would beat the skulls of anyone who makes fun of him. Jimmy adds, “unless it’s a girl.” Oh, the irony.
Jimmy pukes outside and Dell considers hitting him over the head, but Jimmy throws him a major curveball: he knows Dell is his dad, and figured it out because of Dell’s family history of lobster claws that apparently skipped a generation. Dell later announces to the freak show that Jimmy is his son.
Later, in a crushing moment (literally), Dell hugs Ma Petite tightly and kills her – and we see her on display at a museum. SAD.
So, why did Dot lie for Elsa? Dot and Bette want to stay put – Bette (who later has her hair dyed blonde) wants to be a comedian and the two want to receive 20 percent (later 50 percent) of all the box office earnings, as well as what Gloria paid for them. Elsa and Dot write each other letters and have creepy split-screen reading sessions. Basically, Dot tells Elsa she wants the surgery in Chicago. Stanley suggests a mercy killing for the girls, and it appears Elsa doesn’t really care what happens to them as long as she gets her chance at stardom.
The two go to the doctor’s office only to find it closed and the doctor’s daughter there gathering her father’s things. She blames the freaks for her father killing himself (!) and smashing his own hands (though that was Dell’s doing, if you remember).
Well, Penny’s dad will not stand for the shame she would bring him for being with Paul, and has his friend tattoo her up and fork her tongue against her will. Penny goes to Paul, both horrified, and the two comfort each other.
I’m curious about the show’s end game, but I’m confident it will deliver in one way or another.